What on Earth are you doing today?

Earth DayToday is Earth Day! It’s a worldwide effort to demonstrate how important it is to be environmentally responsible, not only today but every day.

If we each take small steps to reduce waste each day, together we can continue to make positive changes for future generations.

We want to say a big thank you to all our customers who are helping us reduce our environmental footprint.  It is truly a team effort.

Here’s how we’ve gone green:

  • In 2013, Rogers employees diverted 62.8 per cent of waste from landfills, the equivalent to the weight of 3,475 mid-size cars.
  • Whether resold or recycled, we helped customers keep 59,443 mobile phones out of landfills in 2013.
  • Last year, Rogers diverted 2,222 tons of e-waste from landfills – the equivalent of 555 elephants.
  • Almost half our customers have reduced their paper use by signing up for online billing.
  • Rogers is now an official recycling steward in Newfoundland and Labrador. That means the provincial government has approved our program to help consumers safely and responsibly dispose of cable products.

Don’t forget, you can help too:

  • Reduce paper use
  • Recycle your unwanted mobile phones and electronics
  • Sort your materials

What Earth-friendly efforts do you make at work and at home?

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5 fun facts about the making of Fargo on FXX

FargoDid you know Billy Bob Thornton, Bob Odenkirk, Martin Freeman, Kate Walsh and Colin Hanks recently spent some time north of the border filming Fargo? The dark comedy series, based on the Coen brothers’ Oscar-winning film, was shot entirely in Calgary! The new FXX Canada series tells the story of a rootless man named Lorne Malvo (Thornton) who meets small town insurance salesman Lester Nygaard (Freeman) and sets him on a path of destruction.

Here are five more fun facts about this new series:

  1. Calgary’s a cow town, but stars Thornton and Freeman are vegan and vegetarian, respectively.
  1. A Vancouver dialect coach worked with the actors to get the Minnesota accent just right, don’tcha know.
  2. Thornton said Calgary is his favourite city in Canada.
  3. At one point, -37°C temperatures caused production to shut down (yet, Odenkirk said that he doesn’t think Calgary is that cold).
  4. Despite the cold weather, some scenes in Fargo actually required the use of fake snow.

Fargo premiered last week on FXX and FX Canada – and if you missed it, don’t worry! You can watch it on demand with the new FXNOW Canada video player and app (available on iOS and Android), Rogers on Demand (channel 100) or Rogers Anyplace TV.

The ten-episode series airs Tuesdays on FXX at 10 p.m. ET/PT, and FXX is exclusively available to Rogers digital customers on a free preview until June 30 on channels 64 and 566.

Who’s your favourite screen star in Fargo?

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Weekend reading: Far-flung travel, great gear and a little personality

Weekend readingBonjour Paris! Or maybe Hola España? I’m daydreaming about globetrotting this week after the launch of Rogers new international travel packs. Plus, I’m checking my heart rate in preparation for a spring marathon with the new Samsung Gear 2 Neo. Finally, new research shares just what your Facebook profile says about you.  

Share the globe

I’m a firm believer in the “pics or it didn’t happen” internet philosophy. So, whether I’m enjoying a perfect meal in Iceland or sliding down a Nicaraguan volcano with my Go Pro, I’m determined to get a brag-worthy shot and post it to Instagram ASAP. This week, Rogers launched travel options perfectly suited to my wanderlust: new international travel packs that keep you connected with voice, data and text as well as a daily data-only rate for $9.99. With both options, you’ll receive free text alerts that let you know when you’re nearing the end of your available data, or you can do a spot check by texting “USAGE” to 3330 for free to see how many daily data rates you’ve used or if you’ve been charged overage costs on your travel pack. For more info, check out rogers.com/roaming.

My next stop is south of the border for a little time in the desert (where I’ll be relying on the $7.99 data-only rate). Where will you get your next passport stamp?

Wild for wearables

Not to brag, but I’m currently on a 40-day streak of hitting my activity goal with my current fitness wearable. OK, yes, I’m totally bragging. But I’ve been trying out wearable tech for the past year-and-a-half, and find something strangely addictive about the up-to-the-minute tracking of my steps, calories burned, sleep and so much more.

So I jumped at the chance to test out the new Samsung Gear 2 Neo – available exclusively from Rogers. With a heart rate monitor and exercise tracking that includes integration with Samsung’s S Health 3.0 app, the ability to check my latest smartphone notifications on my wrist was just the icing on the cake. For more on the history of wearables, check out this cool infographic on betakit.

Of course, as gadget-obsessed as I am, I still track my mileage old school: by mapping out the distance online, then plugging it into my desktop calendar. What technology helps you keep tabs on your exercise efforts?

Social personality

Apparently, your Facebook archive is more than just a trove of questionable haircut photos. A recent study from researchers at Old Dominion University, and reported by The Economic Times, says your social media profile is more telling than a personality test. The study looked at 146 students and compared their personality test results to their social profiles and their performance at work and school. They found the personality traits from the students’ profiles could predict how they would fare in the workplace.

According to the authors, the social networks may be a better predictor than a one-time test because they contain records of behaviour over years. More data means a more complete picture of who you really are.

What does your Facebook profile say about you?

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A different kind of Easter egg hunt

Easter eggsI love chocolate as much as the next person. Especially if it’s wrapped around some peanut butter.

But it’s been many years since Easter morning saw me with a basket and bunny ears hunting down plastic eggs. That said, as an adult I’ve enjoyed seeking out a different kind of Easter egg: those Google hides within its products.

So, in honour of the holiday, here are my five favourite hidden tricks from Google.

  1. Screen surprise. If you have an Android device, navigate to your settings screen. Scroll down to  “About phone.” Tap on the “Android version” list item several times. A giant jelly bean will appear. Hold down on the giant jelly bean and it will spawn a bunch of small, moving beans – which you can flick away to your heart’s content. If you’re on a different version of Android than Jelly Bean, you may discover a different treat.
  2. Spun out search. On a desktop, search for “Do a barrel roll” in Google. Your screen will go spinning!
  3. Get shaking. Remember the Harlem Shake? YouTube hasn’t forgotten the meme, and, if you search for “Do the Harlem Shake” in YouTube you’ll see the site’s logo and your search results mimic the popular dance.
  4. Would you like to play a game? Then browse on over to Google’s image search and enter the search term “Atari breakout.” The related images are turned into an Atari-like game that Google calls Image Breakout – what’s your high score?
  5. Cool crops. Google Maps has had a few embedded tricks over the years, including a look inside the TARDIS and a warning that one does not simply walk into Mordor. For the tech-savvy, the Mozilla Firefox logo gets its own crop circle in Google Earth. Search coordinates 45° 7’25.87″N 123° 6’48.97″W, then zoom in.

What other Google Easter eggs have you found?

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Welcome to great video streaming: 700 MHz spectrum launches in communities in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto

700 spectrumI want to be constantly connected, wherever I go – I even sleep beside my phone. And I get really frustrated when I’m late responding to an email because I’m stuck in an underground parking lot or if I lose my mobile internet connection while streaming NHL hockey highlights.

Today, at Rogers we turned on our 700 MHz spectrum in communities in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto. This means that if you live or work in these areas you can now experience more consistent LTE internet access from Rogers, in locations where you previously couldn’t, like in many parking garages and elevators.

The 700 MHz spectrum carries fast signals across longer distances and better penetrates structures such as buildings.  This means you can access LTE more regularly in places like basements and building interiors. So you’ll see more LTE signal bars on your phones and tablets and you’ll be less likely to drop down to lower speeds. With the Rogers 700 MHz spectrum, you’ll be able to stream NHL games and YouTube videos in your office building or send emails at the local arena during the intermission of your kid’s hockey game – all with minimal delays.

The 700 MHz spectrum will ultimately be rolled out coast to coast, so stay tuned for when it will be available in your community.

Tell us: what videos do you stream on your tablet or smartphone?

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How to check your Internet usage with My Rogers

Internet usageConnected Rogers share how you can easily track how much Internet you’re using each month.

People are downloading large attachments, surfing longer and streaming movies and TV from services such as Rogers Anyplace TV more than ever before. And don’t even get us started on online gaming. Point is, as usage goes up, so does the chance that you might start creeping closer to your monthly usage limit. And whether you decide to upgrade your service to accommodate your new ferocious appetite for entertainment, or manage your usage to stay the course on your current plan, it’s always a good idea to check your usage from time to time. And it’s super easy. Here’s how.

  1. Head to rogers.com and log in to your My Rogers account.
  2. Click Account Info and (from the dashboard) in your Hi-Speed Internet sub-menu box, you’ll see a Monthly Usage progress bar indicating your total available usage, your used data and your remaining usage details.
  3. For a more detailed rundown, click Usage Details located in the bottom-right corner of that progress box.

Ta-da. You’re up to date on your Internet usage. If you find you’re nearing – or passing – your limit regularly, it’s time to adjust your plan for your needs. For more details on Internet packages and pricing, visit Rogers.com.

I’m careful to keep a close eye on my own account because I rely pretty heavily on On Demand content to keep me up to date on my favourite TV series. What tasks dominate your Internet usage?

Check out more great tech tips at Connected Rogers.

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Stay connected on every adventure

RoamingDoes the thought of travelling without your smartphone induce FOMO (fear of missing out)? If you’re a Rogers customer, don’t fret! We totally understand the importance of staying connected as you travel and our new international travel packs and daily data-only rate let you keep using your smartphone overseas.

Check it out:

Globe-trotting packs

These packs, a triple-threat connected experience including voice, data and text, are ideal if you’re travelling for three days or longer. All packs can be purchased by texting “TRAVEL” to 7626 (free in Canada and abroad) or clicking a link in the SMS Rogers will send you once you’ve arrived at your destination.

For example, say you’re on your way to Venice to float down the Grand Canal; you can now buy a pack for $60, which includes 40 minutes of talk, 150 texts and 40 MB of data for the month.

Daily data for $9.99

You may already enjoy our $7.99 pay per data-only rate when travelling to the U.S. Now we’ve rolled out a $9.99 data-only rate to help keep you connected as you traipse to international destinations. The amount of data you receive will vary by region and travel zone.

If you’re travelling to England, for example, $9.99/day will give you access to 20 MBs of data. That means you could easily send about 400 emails, visit 80 websites or access 20 maps. If more than 20 MB are used before the 24 hour period is up, another 20 MB will be automatically added to your account at the $9.99 pay per use rate.

For most customers, Rogers will automatically apply the data-only rate to your account upon the first MB of data used while travelling if you don’t buy a travel pack in advance. This will help if you’ve forgotten to plan ahead! Customers in Newfoundland and Quebec will need to opt-in one time only.

Track your data

Rogers will provide you with free text alerts when using both travel packs and the $9.99 data-only rate, letting you know when you’re nearing the end of your available data. Or you can text “USAGE” to 3330 for free to see how many daily data rates have been used or if you’ve been charged overage costs on your travel pack.

While you’re travelling, buying a local pre-paid SIM is an option, but we think travel packs are more convenient.

For more information about our new ways to stay connected as you travel internationally check out rogers.com/roaming.

Tell us, where will you be travelling this spring?

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Weekend Reading: Gleaming gold, banishing bulky wallets and Twitter gets a makeover

Weekend ReadingThis week, we’ve got our eyes on some serious bling as we await the new Twitter profiles. Plus, we learn how to ditch our bulky wallets and start paying with our smartphones. Get the scoop in this week’s edition of the Weekend Reading.

The grandeur of gold

We’ve already started shipping the HTC One (M8) in gunmetal grey and glacier silver to people who reserved early. And this week, we had even more exciting news: we’ll be carrying the HTC One (M8) in stunning Amber Gold. Exclusive to Rogers, this stand-out shade will be available for purchase in mid-May. No matter what hue you choose, the phone boasts top speeds on Rogers LTE, an all-metal design with edge-free finishes, the HTC Duo Camera, and dual front-facing speakers with HTC BoomSound.

What colour’s your favourite – gunmetal grey, glacier silver or amber gold?

Twitter transforms

Bigger profile photos are coming to Twitter, plus the service will now be showcasing your best tweets when you visit your profile page. The new design is just beginning to roll out – First Lady Michelle Obama was among the first to get the makeover. As the Next Web explains, the changes also include a customizable header, a new photo/video tab and the ability to pin a tweet to the top of your page.

Twitter.com users will spot another change in the coming weeks too: real-time notifications. You’ll now be alerted if someone replies, favourites or RTs one of your posts. There will also be notifications for direct messages and new followers, which the company says will be “interactive” – meaning you can respond right from the popup window. Mashable notes this should make conversations via DM a lot easier. And, lest it all get to be a bit too much, users can customize which notifications they receive.

I haven’t been among the lucky few in the first wave of rollouts, but I look forward to testing the changes as soon as I can! Keep an eye out for the makeover coming to @RogersBuzz. What feature are you eager to try?

Tap it

My bright pink clutch has seen better days. Scuffs aside, it eats up a lot of real estate in my purse and tends to be a collector for receipts and change from the places I’ve travelled. So I can’t wait to download the suretap wallet and start paying with my smartphone. This mobile payment app, which launched yesterday in the Google Play store, works with Near Field Communication (NFC) technology at contactless payment terminals – so basically, just like tapping to pay with your credit card. All you need to get started is an NFC-enabled device, a compatible SIM-card and the suretap wallet app – you can learn more by watching this video.

Would you ditch your wallet for smartphone payments?

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Samsung Gear 2 Neo aces my fitness challenge

Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 NeoI’ve become obsessed with checking my heart rate. At rest, it’s normally about 65 beats per minute. On the subway, it spikes to the 80s, higher when we hit a delay. When boxing and running, it hits the 140s.

No, I haven’t become a quantified lifer. But I have been test-driving the new Samsung Gear 2 Neo and the GALAXY S5, Android devices which let you check your heart rate with the touch of a button.

I’ve been wearing fitness bands for about a year and a half, tracking my steps and activity and taking notes. I’m a runner with dreams of a sub-four marathon this spring, but the biggest value for me in a wearable has always been the sweat-proof clock and the ability to compete with myself.

The Gear 2 Neo takes it to the next level. For starters, it’s the first band I’ve tried that actually adjusted small enough to fit my teeny tiny wrists (though that’s more the fault of genetics than the manufacturers). Plus, I’ve never liked needing to pull out my smartphone on a run. Feeling the phone vibrating in my pocket without knowing who’s calling or messaging, and whether it’s urgent, always puts me on edge until I hit the next stoplight and can justify checking my notifications. With the Gear 2 Neo, I can just flick my wrist mid-activity and easily judge whether it’s actually important without interrupting my stride.

To test out its fitness moxie, I took the wearable – which integrates with Samsung’s S Health 3.0 app – to the gym for a cardio, strength and boxing session and then on an 11K run. While the heart rate function totally inspired me to work harder, I was really impressed by the step and distance data. My previous experience with wearables made me wary of estimated distances and paces, but the Gear 2 Neo came within .2KM of what I had mapped out to run, plus matched my data on duration and pace exactly! And all that data is stored in a log, and synced to my phone, so I can compare workouts and track my progress.

When I wasn’t wearing my runners, I still dug the wearable experience. In addition to tracking my steps, pedometer style, I could also sneakily screen my messages during meetings and use other apps to check the weather and my calendar.

Plus, the Gear 2 Neo has its own music player to pump your personal soundtrack when you’re on the go – whether that’s in transit or at the gym. You can get yours today, exclusively from Rogers for $219.99, or, if you’re also upgrading to the Samsung GALAXY S5 on select two-year plans, ask about the Gear 2 Neo for $49.99. It’s available only for a limited time.

What other wearables have you tried?

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Mobile Payments 101: The suretap wallet has arrived

SuretapIf you’re anything like me – or George Costanza – you’re carrying too much in your wallet, and frankly, it could use a little spring cleaning. 

To help you lighten that load, today we launched the suretap wallet, a mobile payments app that offers a simple and convenient alternative to carrying around your bulky leather wallet. The suretap wallet will allow you to store payment and gift cards on one app and make mobile payments at tens of thousands of retailers across Canada simply by holding your smartphone against a contactless payment terminal.

To learn more about the suretap wallet and how you can start making mobile payments today, check out this video with Rogers Data Girl Qaizra and RedBoard’s Jen Wilson:

To download the wallet today, simply visit the Google Play Store or BlackBerry World on your smartphone. For full details, visit www.rogers.com/suretap

How do you slim down your wallet?

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